IT’S been confirmed that Lionel Messi will be staying on at Barcelona for another five years and he’s agreed to have his wages cut in half – but why?
After his three-year contract with the club expired at the end of June, Messi was finally a free agent – after his transfer request was rejected last summer.
Earlier this month, the 34-year-old won his first major international trophy after leading Argentina to the Copa America title with a 1-0 win in the final against Brazil. It was also the Argentine’s first win for his home country.
It’s been long understood that Messi would probably stay on at Barcelona, a club which has had him on the books for more than 20 years and Messi has won six Ballon d’Ors for.
Messi has only come to a verbal agreement with the club at the moment and an announcement about the new deal isn’t expected until the end of July.
Messi’s previous contract with Barcelona, which lapsed at midnight on 1st July, was reportedly worth a staggering £476m over four years – that’s an eye-watering £119m per season. In addition to that, his signing-on fee was £99m alone, with a further £67m due as a loyalty bonus.
Messi will be taking a 50 per cent pay cut in the new contract to stay on at Barcelona for the next five years. So that’s £238m, which is roughly £60m per season, if we halve his last reported earnings from the club. The contract release clause will be set at €350m (£300m).
Spanish news outlet SPORT said Messi understands the club’s financial difficulties and that a wage cut is necessary to set an example as the team captain.
It was previously reported that other La Liga clubs would help Barca to pay Messi’s huge wages, because Messi is too valuable for the league to lose. According to Sky Sports, Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain have been keen to sign Messi. The footballer also wants to one day play in MLS.
Yet the big headline is that Messi has taken a pay cut, since Barcelona have no money.
But Messi stays. The rest is details.